Of Kids and Kardashians
By Bryan Caplan
Check out Steve Sailer’s appreciative review of Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids. In many ways, we see eye to eye. But passages like this show just how far apart we are. Steve:
Let me say that Caplan has written a delightful book, breezy in prose style, but reasonably rigorous in its handling of the nature-nurture statistics. I hope people who like Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids do have more kids. And I hope people who put it down immediately to see what the Kardashians are up to on reality TV have fewer kids.
Of course, I’d like to be more popular than the Kardashians. But I bear their fans – and the potential children of their fans – only good will. I hope they multiply and find joy in their reality TV. It’s not my cup of tea, but so what? Or as I explained in “Against High-IQ Misanthropy“:
Morally, I just have to ask the high-IQ misanthrope, “What did stupid people ever do to you?” Their complaints are pretty petty: The dumb kids asked annoying questions in class, made fun of your Star Trek costume, etc. Are these injuries even remotely awful enough to outweigh the fact that a human being gets to exist and enjoy life? In any case, once you reach adulthood, people of all IQs generally leave you alone if you leave them alone. If you want to give your kids a better childhood than you had, use your brains to make some extra money and move to a nicer neighborhood.
When I was a bitter teen-ager, I spoke much as Steve does now. But I was wrong. I should have looked harder for the good in the people around me, tried harder to meet new friends, and redirected my criticism of others toward self-improvement. Lighting a candle really is better than cursing the darkness.
P.S. If you don’t know what to get your favorite moms, grandmas, and potential moms for Mother’s Day, I’ve got an idea – and it sounds like Steve will back me up. 🙂